Record-breaking Brendon McCullum heartbroken for Phil Hughes
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, one-time team-mate of late Phillip Hughes, said he was all the time thinking of the Australian during his fiery double-hundred against Pakistan in Sharjah on Saturday.
Sharjah: New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, one-time team-mate of late Phillip Hughes, said he was all the time thinking of the Australian during his fiery double-hundred against Pakistan in Sharjah on Saturday.
"You are all in our thoughts, our hearts and in Phil`s case, our memories," said McCullum in a message released by New Zealand Cricket.
Hughes died of a severe injury to his head on Thursday after being hit by South Australia`s paceman Sean Abbott bouncer in a New South Wales match in Sydney.
McCullum said the thoughts of his whole team were with Hughes.
"Cricket is a sport, but the cricket community is a family. We are here for you, we are thinking of you," said McCullum of Hughes, who he played with in Twenty20 cricket in Australia.
The dashing opener made a robust 188-ball 202 against Pakistan studded with 21 fours and 11 towering sixes to help his team pile a mammoth 637-8 on the third day of the third and final Test.
This becomes McCullum`s third double-hundred in a year, making him the fourth batsmen to do so, matching Australia`s trio of Don Bradman, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke.
The big total gave New Zealand a lead of 286 and set them strongly for a series-levelling win.
Pakistan lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning the first Test and drawing the second.
McCullum said his team`s focus was not on performances.
"On behalf of the Blackcaps I want to make the following statement. Our focus at the moment is not on our performances, it is all about Phil.
"We are heartbroken for Phil`s family, Greg, Virginia, Megan and Jason. No one should go through what you guys are going through right now.
"We are reaching out to Phil`s family, Clarke and the Australian boys, medical staff, fans, all who have been affected by Phil`s passing. We are also reaching out to Abbott."
Both teams abandoned second day`s play in the third Test on Thursday after Hughes`s tragic news came and wore black armbands and observed a minute silence on Friday as mark of respect for the talented Hughes.